Self-Promotion Indistinguishable from Stupidity

Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, is desperate to attract any acknowledgement of, never mind genuine interest in, his presidential ambitions. So, it is hardly a surprise that he would insert himself into the debate over gun access following the mass murder at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

Never mind that Jindal’s own state has the most unrestricted access to guns, the highest rate of gun violence, and the highest rate of gun deaths in the nation. When the father of the Oregon murderer spoke publicly on the tragedy and expressed great dismay that anyone should be able to acquire an extensive arsenal of guns and ammo as his son had done in a relatively short period ahead of the murders, Jindal saw his opportunity to be both pro-gun and anti-immigrant in the same breath.

Jindal must have immediately taken note of the fact that the father of the Oregon murderer speaks with a distinctly British accent, and if there is anything that Americans like less than foreigners criticizing us, it is having that criticism come from foreigners whom we have permitted to live among us.

So, since the father is apparently fair game, despite the deep personal grief and the terrible and profound dismay that must be consuming him, Jindal pounced on the fact that the father had not been involved in any meaningful way in his son’s life and suggested that if the gunman had grown up in a two-parent family, he might never have developed the psychological disturbances that led him to such a heinous act.

Although Jindal’s premise is in many ways not just logically flawed but ridiculously so, I am willing to accept that premise. And working from it, I propose that anyone who has not grown up in a two-parent household should be subjected to more extensive background checks, especially if he or she wishes to purchase more than one weapon in a given three- or six-month period.

But, I admit that I am not thoroughly knowledgeable about mass murders in America. If it turns out that any of the recent mass murders have been committed by people who have grown up in two-parent households, then I propose that those people should also be subjected to more extensive background checks.

I recognize that I have just given Bobby Jindal an argument that might propel his candidacy to much greater national attention, but, even though I am very skeptical about his capacity to lead the greatest nation on earth, I am willing to put political partisanship aside for the sake of a solution to the debate over gun access that does not subject any gun owners or prospective gun owners to any federal scrutiny that singles them out.


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